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Chamber Music - To be released July 2, 2021 | Toccata Classics

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Chamber Music - To be released June 25, 2021 | OnClassical

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Chamber Music - To be released June 18, 2021 | SOMM Recordings

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Chamber Music - Released May 7, 2021 | Ad Vitam records

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Though chamber music is incontestably the least well-known component of his corpus, Camille Saint-Saëns was a master of the genre, leaving us with a large collection of works. We may think of Saint-Saëns as a conservative and very academic composer. And yet, we would be well advised to remember that he was, in fact, a pioneer. Even as a young man, Saint-Saëns delved into chamber music instead of opera, the conventional form for an up-and-coming musician. He composed chamber music throughout his life - through to the final woodwind sonatas in 1921 - restoring lustre to the form which, in France, had been all but forgotten. A driving force in the 19th century movement to reinvigorate the French school, Saint-Saëns paved the way for an entire generation of French musicians. This included his student Gabriel Fauré, who would go on to make an important contribution to the chamber music repertoire himself. These works embody the essence of Saint-Saëns’ composition: his lifelong and unyielding quest for perfection in form, and quality of the melodic line. It is fair to call Saint-Saëns a natural-born melodist, a true aesthete devoted to endowing a phrase with purity and beauty. In 2021, what better way to celebrate the centennial of the composer’s death than to discover (or rediscover) this unfairly forgotten repertoire? For this recording of Saint-Saëns’ complete works for strings and piano - the first of its kind - I was joined by chamber musicians with a passion for rare music. In addition to the violin and cello duets that we are pleased to present in this first volume, two trios, two quartets and a quintet for piano were also composed. Le Déluge Ensemble was founded in 2019 for this venture. Our name was inspired by Saint-Saëns’ homonymous oratorio and the radiant violin solo in the prelude that depicts the golden age of humanity. A version for piano written by the composer can be heard on this recording. © Laurent Wagschal/AdVitam Records
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Chamber Music - Released April 9, 2021 | TRPTK

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Chamber Music - Released January 15, 2021 | Gramola Records

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The violin duos and etudes on the present album were composed between 1820 and 1869; the composers - Joseph Mayseder, Leopold Jansa, Joseph Böhm, Georg Hellmesberger, Franz Grutsch and Jakob Dont - were outstanding violinists who decisively impacted Viennese musical life. Raimund Lissy and Adela Frasineanu, members of the violin section of the Vienna Philharmonic, present typical teaching repertoire from the Vienna Violin School, which is directly based on practical experience, since all but one of the composers were much sought-after violin teachers themselves. The first edition of this upcoming series emphatically demonstrates that with all the virtuoso content and etude-like form, the musical and cantabile aspects do not have to be neglected. © Gramola
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2021 | Glossa

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During his lifetime, Carl Friedrich Abel was fêted all over Europe both for his supreme skills as a performer of the viola da gamba as well as for the quality of his compositions, and was responsible (along with J.C. Bach) for setting up arguably the first series of subscription concerts in the history of Western music, the “Bach-Abel-Concerts”. Even the prodigy that was Mozart benefited from Abel’s teachings (and was claimed as the composer of one of Abel’s own symphonies). Twelve years after his recording of pieces from the Drexel Manuscript (for solo viola da gamba), Paolo Pandolfo teams up with an exquisite ensemble to record a fine selection of Abel’s sonatas, many of them recently discovered and being recorded here for the first time. Often adding his own cadenzas and ornamentations, Pandolfo and his team offer a breathtaking and colourful display of virtuosism and sensibility. The contemporary painter Thomas Gainsborough wrote that Abel “excelled at feeling upon the instrument”, while the writer of one of his obituaries likened him to Laurence Sterne, famous as the author of Tristram Shandy: “The death of Abel occasions a great loss to the musical world. Sensibility is the prevailing and beautiful characteristic of his compositions. He was the Sterne of Music.” Thus, this recording is aptly entitled “A Sentimental Journey” – an exploration of the world of feeling paralleling Sterne’s unfinished novel A Sentimental Journey though France and Italy. © Glossa

Chamber Music - Released December 11, 2020 | Vision Fugitive

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Cherishing the musical heritage of his country, Russian guitarist Aynur Begutov devotes here an entire program (ranging from the late eighteenth century to the present day) to the Russian seven-string guitar (D, B, G, D, B, G, D), which became very popular in Russia and Ukraine since it was introduced at the end of the eighteenth century by Andrei Ossipovitch Sikhra (1773-1850). Its tessitura being wider and its sound more ample, it knew very quickly a great vogue (which will exceed the borders) because of its perfect adequacy with the execution of songs and folk dances, a little known repertoire to discover, and very well illustrated by Aynur Begutov. (Qobuz / GG)
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Chamber Music - Released November 20, 2020 | SOMM Recordings

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SOMM Recordings’ survey of Charles Villiers Stanford’s chamber music continues with his two String Quintets and Three Intermezzi arranged for cello and piano : a unique collaboration between members of the Dante and Endellion Quartets, together with pianist Benjamin Frith, sees first recordings of the String Quintet No. 2 in C minor and the arrangement of the Three Intermezzi. Composed with Stanford’s lifelong mentor, the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim, in mind, the Quintets are the product of a master craftsman speaking with his own distinctive voice. Both were first performed in 1904 and separately owe a direct and glancing debt to Brahms. The First echoes the three-movement structure of Brahms’ First Quintet and its melodious warmth although its second movement strikingly makes use of an archaic form of Irish traditional singing – sean nós (literally “old style”). Composed to mark the 60th anniversary of Joachim’s first visit to Britain, the Second Quintet shares what Stanford authority Jeremy Dibble in his erudite booklet notes describes as “the same serious demeanour and a similar outlook towards grand architecture” of Brahms’ First Symphony, which Joachim conducted on that occasion. Originally composed for clarinet and piano, the Three Intermezzi of 1880 display a masterly interplay between cello and piano in Stanford’s own arrangement. © SOMM Recordings
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Chamber Music - Released November 13, 2020 | Alkonost Classic

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Trios - Released October 16, 2020 | La Dolce Volta

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Philippe Cassard, Anne Gastinel and David Grimal present these two Beethovenian masterpieces. The chosen approach is one of colour and generosity. On this astonishing disc we meet a Beethoven come down from his pedestal, who is human and even jovial. Where so many others offer rigidity of discourse and fussy sonorities, the three musicians illuminate these metaphysical pages with the finesse, freshness and grace of the aquarellist. © La Dolce Volta
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Chamber Music - Released October 16, 2020 | Dynamic

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Chamber Music - Released October 9, 2020 | Fuga Libera

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Daniel Weissmann, Managing Director of the Liège Royal Philharmonic, is also a violist. Following an initial album released by Fuga Libera (2018) and chiefly devoted to German music, he continues his exploration of the chamber repertory for viola with this new album, here in partnership with the pianist Peter Petrov. The programme explores the French Romantic repertory, in a worldpremiere recording of the British musicologist Hugh Macdonald’s remarkable and formidably difficult arrangement for viola and piano of Berlioz’s Harold en Italie. The album is completed by ‘fin-de-siècle’ pieces by Vierne, Chausson and Tournemire (all three students of César Franck), written between 1894 and 1897, which embrace the full expressive and melancholic potential of the instrument. © Fuga Libera

Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2020 | Arcana

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Even a star of the podium like Antonio Pappano devotes himself with enthusiasm to chamber music: there are more and more concerts and recordings in which he sits at the piano, performing with such eminent artists as Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Diana Damrau, Ian Bostridge and Joyce DiDonato. Now it is his fifteen-year-old friendship and musical collaboration with Luigi Piovano that is reflected in this new and exciting album, in which the two musicians finally record their interpretation – honed over the years in dozens of performances at leading concert halls such as Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence and Brussels – of the two Brahms Cello Sonatas and a gem of late nineteenth-century Italian instrumental music: Giuseppe Martucci’s Two Romances Op. 72. Two further elements add life and fascination to this new Arcana release: the instruments used (a sumptuous Alessandro Gagliano cello of 1710 and a splendid piano by Steinway & Sons built in New York in 1875) and the atmospheric surroundings in which the recording was made – not a sterile studio, but the magnificent villa, deep in the tranquil and harmonious verdure of the Tuscan countryside, of a great friend of the two musicians, Nicola Bulgari. © Arcana
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Chamber Music - Released September 4, 2020 | Gramola Records

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The composition competition of the Vienna Tonkünstlerverein in 1896 under honorary president Johannes Brahms intended to promote chamber music "which uses at least one wind instrument" and resulted in 18 submissions, twelve of which were selected for five concerts. The first and third placed works of this competition, namely the Clarinet Quartet in E-flat major Op. 1 by Walter Rabl (world premiere recording) and the Clarinet Trio in D minor Op. 3 by Alexander Zemlinsky were now recorded by Christoph Zimper, clarinet, Kristina Suklar, violin, Florian Eggner, cello and Peter Ovtcharov, piano. The proximity to the music of Johannes Brahms is not least influenced by his own chamber music works for clarinet, but can also be seen in numerous stylistic and aesthetic aspects with both Rabl and Zemlinsky. © Gramola
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Chamber Music - Released July 17, 2020 | SOMM Recordings

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Composed soon after his 30th birthday, Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No.1 in D minor (Op. 49) is one of the composer’s greatest chamber music compositions… a fine and trenchant work, revealing his genius at getting the utmost definition and detail from a small group of instruments. Clara Schumann’s Op. 17 Piano Trio in G minor elegantly shows off her own admired facility at the keyboard as well as her gift for composing music that shows no little originality and a charm of melody which is all her own. From the beginning of what was to prove to be his late period, Robert Schumann’s F major Second Piano Trio (Op. 80) moves from episodes of intense melancholy to Spring-fresh lightness to conclude with an engrossing discussion between all three instruments. Here is Schumann at his most endearingly human, the quintessence of Romanticism from a demonstrably original great composer. © SOMM Recordings

Chamber Music - Released July 10, 2020 | Alpha

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Daishin Kashimoto, Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Zvi Plesser and Éric Le Sage, who have been close musical partners for years, joined forces once again at the Salon de Provence Chamber Music Festival to record this programme devoted to Viennese composers of the early twentieth century. The most famous and innovative of these are represented: Schoenberg with his Kammersymphonie no.1, Mahler with two lieder transcribed for flute and piano, Zemlinsky’s Clarinet Trio and several pieces by Berg. A programme that encapsulates both the exhaustion of a bygone Romantic age and the avant-garde promises of a modern world still to be built. © Alpha Classics

Chamber Music - Released June 5, 2020 | OnClassical

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Duets - Released May 15, 2020 | Paraty

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This first recording by the Duo Aurore is an eclectic selection of Brazilian and Argentinian repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries. The title of the album, "Iguaçu", is a reference to the magnificent Iguazu Falls located on the border between the two countries and listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. Often inspired by popular music, the repertoire is rich in harmonic and rhythmic variations. Famous works such as Libertango by Astor Piazzolla or O trenzinho do caipira by Villa-Lobos are presented alongside more recent pieces such as Nação nº 2, by the eminent Brazilian composer and pianist Hércules Gomes. © Paraty
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Chamber Music - Released May 15, 2020 | OnClassical

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Chamber Music in the magazine